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same metals; and their persons were profusely adorned with various oriental ornaments, composed of the same substances, and also of precious stones. It is even said that gold was in such plenty that it was but thrice the value of brass, and only twice that of iron; while silver was regarded as ten times more valuable than gold. If only a small part of this were true, we need not be astonished at the vast quantity of precious metal which the Hebrews seem to have possessed. But this may otherwise be accounted for by recollecting that the property which the patriarchs left to their posterity was very considerable, and had doubtless been increased during their abode in Egypt; and that beside this, there were the valuable articles which they demanded of the Egyptians at their departure, the spoil taken from the king and warriors drowned in the Red Sea, and the further spoil which we may suppose to have been obtained from the defeated Amalekites.
5. “Badgers' skins.”—It is very uncertain what is intended by the word rendered "badger,” Un tahash. Some take it to mean a preparation of leather, as morocco. All the ancient versions regard it as a colour of leather or skins-and point out crimson or different shades of blue. The Jewish traditions concur in this view, with some exceptions; and it is supported by the analogy of the third covering, next beneath this, which was of "sheep-skins dyed red." Many, however, with our translators, regard the tahash as the name of an animal, but differ greatly as to the species. Ás Gesenius remarks, the construction favours this interpretation; and he adds, that several Hebrew interpreters explain it by the weazel or martin; others, from the similarity of names, by the German dachs, or badger. But in Arabic tahash signifies the dolphin, with which the ancients in common life also classed the seal. "Seal skins" would certainly make a good sense, and would be tolerably applicable to all the passages in which the word tahash occurs. Dr. Boothroyd has adopted it in his translation, But we are still inclined to think, that to understand it as a colourperhaps purple-is the better alternative.
"Shittim wood" ('UV shittim).—This was perhaps the Acacia horrida, a kind of mimosa, a native of Arabia, since the Arabic word resembles the Hebrew. The thorns are twinned as in many other species of this genus, and nearly equal to the leaves in length. The leaves are repeatedly winged. The spikes of white flowers proceed from the bosom of the leaves. The wood is of an excellent quality, whence it deserves the name given by the Greek translators ξυλα ἄσηπτα, Wood that never decays.
6. "Spices" (w, besamim), Juusapara.-In this term all the odoriferous ingredients are comprehended, which were employed in the composition of the "anointing oil," in the ointment by which the altar of incense and all the vessels of the ark were hallowed, and lastly, in the incense which was burnt upon the altar. The last is indicated in a peculiar manner by the original terms for the burning of sweet odours," upon the golden altar that stood in the holy place.-Ex. xxx.
10. “ Ark.”—The identity of name to denote two such different things as the "ark” of Noah and that of the tabernacle does not exist in the original. The former is called, Thebah, and the latter, Arun. The Septuagint rendered both terms by the same Greek word, zwròs, and has been followed by our own and other versions. The ark in the present instance was a coffer or chest of shittim wood overlaid with gold, in which were deposited the tables of the ten commandments-not only the entire ones, say the Jews, but also those that were broken-together with Aaron's rod (staff) that budded, and the golden pot of preserved manna. This chest seems to have been of the dimensions of three feet nine inches in length, by two feet three inches in breadth and depth, according to the common cubit of eighteen inches, but larger if, as we think preferable, we take the Egyptian cubit of twenty-one inches. Around the upper edge there was a rim or cornice (called in the text "a crown") of pure gold; and on each side were fixed rings of gold to receive the poles of shittim wood covered with gold, by which the ark was carried from place to place. The staves always remained in the rings, even when the ark was at rest. The ark had at top a lid or cover of solid gold; for such was what the text calls "the mercy seat," and which the Septuagint renders are or “ the propitiatory," by which name it is mentioned by St. Paul in Heb. ix. 4, and which was probably so called, because, on the great day of atonement, the blood of the expiatory sacrifice was sprinkled on or before it. Upon the two ends of this lid, and of the same matter with it, that is, solid gold, were placed two figures of cherubim which looked towards each other, and whose outstretched wings, meeting over the centre of the ark, overshadowed it completely. It was here that the Shechinah or Divine Presence more immediately rested, and, both in the tabernacle and Temple, was indicated by a cloud, from the midst of which responses were delivered in an audible voice whenever the Lord was consulted in behalf of the people. Hence God is sometimes mentioned as He that "dwelleth" or "sitteth between the cherubim." In its removals the ark was covered with a veil (Num. iv. 6), and might only be carried on the shoulders of the priests or Levites. The Rabbins think, with some reason, that it was only carried by the priests on extraordinary occasions, being ordinarily borne by the Levites. No other form of conveyance was allowed, nor were any other persons permitted to interfere with it. David thought, perhaps, to do it honour by putting it on a new cart when he purposed to remove it to Kirjath-jearim; but the result convinced him of the necessity of adhering to the established practice (2 Sam. vi. 3). On that occasion, Uzzah, being an unauthorized person, was struck dead, for putting his hand to the ark to steady it when shaken by the oxen.
After the Israelites had passed the Jordan, the ark generally occupied its proper place in the tabernacle, and was afterwards placed in the Temple built by Solomon. From the direction given by Josiah to the Levites (2 Chron. xxxv. 3) to restore the ark to its place, it would seem to have been previously removed; but it is not known whether this was done by the priests, to preserve it from profanation, or by the idolatrous kings Manasseh or Amon, to make room for their idols." It seems that the ark, with the other precious things of the Temple, became the spoil of Nebuchadnezzar, and was taken to Babylon; and it does not appear that it was restored at the end of the captivity, or that any new one was made. What became of the ark after the captivity cannot be ascertained. Some of the Rabbins think that it was concealed, to preserve it from the Chaldeans, and that it could not again be discovered, nor will be till the Messiah comes and reveals it. Others say that it was indeed taken away by the Chaldeans, but was afterwards restored, and occupied its place in the second Temple: but the Talmud and some of the Jewish writers confess, that the want of the ark was one of the points in which the second Temple was inferior to that of Solomon: to which we may add, that neither Ezra, Nehemiah, the Maccabees, nor Josephus, mention the ark as extant in the second Temple, and the last authority expressly says that there was nothing in the sanctuary when the Temple was taken by Titus. It certainly does not appear in the Arch erected at Rome in honour of that conqueror, and in which the spoils of the Temple are displayed; although some writers have attempted to identify it with the table of shewbread which is there represented.
Sacred chests, bearing much the resemblance in principle to this ark, have been found in different ancient and modern nations; and expositors have entered into many wearying disquisitions whether this ark, or the ark of Noah, or else some primitive model (the existence of which is inferred from chap, xxxiii. 7, 10), suggested the first idea;
while Spencer and others think, as they do in the case of the tabernacle, that the Hebrew ark was itself copied from the heathen. We incline to suppose that the others were either copies of the Mosaic ark, or else that the idea was sufficiently simple and natural to occur among people who had no inter-communication or common source of knowledge. Without discussing any of these questions, we may state a few of the more striking instances of coincidence. The Egyptians, on some occasions, carried in solemn processions a sacred chest, containing their secret things and the mysteries of their religion. The Trojans also had their sacred chest; and the palladium of the Greeks and Romans was something not very unlike. It is further remarkable, that as the Hebrew tabernacle and Temple had a holy of holies, in which the ark was deposited, so had the heathen, in the inmost part of their temples, an adytum or penetrale, which none but the priests might enter. Something very similar may also be traced among barbarous and savage nations. Thus, Tacitus, speaking of the nations of Northern Germany, of whom our own Saxon ancestors were a branch, says that they generally worshipped Herthum, or the Mother Earth (Terram matrem); believing her to interpose in the affairs of men, and to visit nations; and that to her, within a grove in a certain island, was consecrated a vehicle covered with a vestment, and which none but the priests were allowed to touch. They were enabled to perceive when the goddess entered this her secret place, and with profound veneration attended the vehicle, which was drawn by cows (see 2 Sam. vi. 6). Peace and joy attended its progress; men laid aside their weapons of war and gave themselves up to gladness wherever it came. The whole time of its progress was a festival of peace until the sacred vehicle was ultimately taken back to its accustomed place. Perhaps the most curious analogy, however, is that discovered by Captain Cook at the island of Huaheine, in the South Sea. In Hawkesworth's account it is described as "a kind of chest, or ark, the lid of which was nicely sewed on, and thatched very neatly with palm-nut leaves. It was fixed upon two poles, and supported upon little arches of wood, very neatly covered: the use of the poles seemed to be to remove it from place to place, in the manner of our sedan-chair. In one end of it was a square hole, in the middle of which was a ring touching the sides, and leaving the angles open, so as to form a round hole within, a square one without. The first time Mr. (afterwards Sir Joseph) Banks saw this coffer, the aperture at the end was stopped with a piece of cloth, which, lest he should give offence, he left untouched. Probably there was then something within; but now the cloth was taken away, and, on looking into it, it was found empty. The general resemblance between this repository and the ark of the Lord among the Jews is remarkable: but it is still more remarkable that, upon inquiring of the boy what it was called, he said Ewharre no Etau, the house of God:' he could, however, give no account of its signification or use." (See Calmet's Dictionary;' Saurin's Dissertations ;' Stackhouse's History of the Bible;' Prideaux's 'Connexion;' Parkhurst's 'Lexicon,' in ; &c.)
23. "A table of shittim wood.”—This table, like the ark, was of shittim wood, overlaid with gold; and it seems to have borne as much resemblance to the ark as a table can be supposed to bear to a chest. It was also furnished with rings, through which were passed the staves by which it was carried, in the same way as the ark. The staves of the table did not remain in the rings when at rest, like those of the ark, but were, as Josephus informs us, removed, that they might not be in the way of the priests in their weekly ministrations at the table. The table was inferior to the ark in breadth by half a cubit; but it was of the same height. It stood lengthwise, east and west, at the north side of the holy place. It is difficult, from the description, to form any very distinct idea concerning the details of its form, and speculations on the subject have been sufficiently abundant. What we seem to learn from the text is, that the platform of the table being raised, probably on four legs, to the stated height, was faced with a perpendicular border of a hand's breadth, above which, and on the lower edge of which, was an ornamental rim ("crown") of gold. The upper rim, according to the Rabbins, rose above the superficial level of the table, and was calculated to prevent what was deposited thereon from falling off. They also state that each end of the table was furnished with a tall three-pronged fork, one at each corner, standing perpendicularly, for the purpose of keeping the loaves, which were piled one upon another at the end of the table, in their proper places. For these forks, however, there is no evidence in the text, or in the only authentic representation we possess, which is that in the Arch of Titus at Rome, on which the spoils of the Temple are represented. This last, however, was not the table of the tabernacle. It is generally agreed that this was among the spoils carried away by Nebuchadnezzar, and that when the Jews were restored to their own land, they made a new table. It seems to have differed in size, and in some details, from the original table. Its form will be seen from the cut representing that part of the Roman sculpture in which it is comprehended; and we also give another representation of the original table, as deduced from the text, and from so much of the Rabbinical explanations as the text seems to authorize.
29. "Dishes."-The loaves were set in these, according to Jarchi; who also states that they were of the same form as the loaves, and that there were two sorts, one of gold and the other of iron, the bread being baked in the latter and then transferred to the former, to be set on the table. But others assign different uses to these dishes.
"Spoons."-More properly cups or censers, the use of the utensil being for holding incense (Num. vii. 14). It is commonly thought that they were two, and contained the frankincense which, as we learn from Lev. xxiv. 7, was set upon each pile of bread.
"Bowls."-Probably for containing wine; for although we do not read that any wine was set upon the table, yet, as libations were made to God by pouring out wine before him in the holy place, there is nothing improbable in the Jewish tradition, that a bowl of excellent wine was always kept upon the table; and that once a week, when the bread was changed, the contents were poured out as a libation before the Lord. Josephus confirms this tradition by relating that, when Pompey went into the holy place, he saw there cups for libation among the sacred vessels.
30. "Shewbread."-Literally "bread of faces ;" and which perhaps modern translators better render by "presencebread." The bread consisted of twelve unleavened loaves which were rather large, each containing about five pints 1-10th of flour. The Rabbins say that the loaves were square, and covered with leaves of gold; but of this the Scripture says nothing. The same authorities inform us that the loaves were placed in two piles of six each, one upon another, on the opposite ends of the table; and that between every two loaves were laid three semi-tubes, like slit canes, of gold, for the purpose of keeping the cakes the better from mouldiness and corruption by admitting the air between them. The golden forks, which are stated to have been employed to keep the loaves in their places, we have already noticed. The new bread was set on the table every Sabbath with much ceremony and care, it being so managed that the new bread should be set on one end of the table before the old was taken away from the other, in order that the table might not be for a moment without bread. The old bread might only be eaten by the priests; yet there was the famous exception in the instance of David, who, when in great want, ate the shew-bread, and incurred no blame (1 Sam. xxi. 6-9). This instance is quoted by our Saviour to justify the apostles when they plucked ears of corn and ate them on the Sabbath-day. Jewish traditions state, that, to render the bread more peculiar and consecrated from its origin, the priests themselves performed all the operations of sowing, reaping, and grinding the corn for the
shewbread, as well as of kneading and baking the bread itself. We have already mentioned the incense and (probably) the wine which was set with the bread upon the table: it is also thought that salt was added, as we read in Levit. ii., that not only were the meat-offerings to be seasoned with salt, but that salt was to form part of all offerings.
We find among the ancient heathens usages having some conformity to this of the table with its shew-bread, though it is difficult to determine from what source the analogy arose, unless we suppose the idea in itself so natural as to render it unnecessary to conclude that the usage must be derived from one nation to another. We even find something very similar in our own day among various and distant tribes of barbarians and savages. The heathens had, in their temples, tables on which they set meat and drink in honour of the gods. In general this became the property of the priests, but in many instances the priests alleged that the gods themselves consumed what was set before them. There is a famous instance of this in the apocryphal story of Bel and the Dragon. The Egyptians were among those who had this custom. Jerome, in his gloss on Isaiah lxv. 11, observes, that it was an ancient custom among the idolaters of Egypt, on the last day of the last month in the year, to place tables, covered with several kinds of victuals, in the temples of the gods. The design of this ceremony, he adds, was to show the plenty of the year past, and of that which was to follow. If this is the nearest analogy which Jerome could find in Egypt, it is obvious that the Israelites could not, as some suppose, have borrowed their institution from thence. The things are very different: that of the Jews was a permanent offering, renewed weekly, and always remaining; whereas that of Egypt was only annual, and more resembled the Hebrew offerings of first-fruits than anything else.
SUPPOSED FORM OF THE GOLDEN CANDLESTICK.
31. "Candlestick"-or, more properly, a candelabrum or lamp-bearer.-This candlestick was wholly of pure gold, and it weighed a talent (about 125 lbs.), although, as Josephus informs us, it was hollow within. It consisted of a base and stock, with seven branches, three on each side, and one in the middle. These branches were all parallel to one another, and were worked out in knobs, flowers, and bowls, placed alternately. The whole number of these ornaments amounted to seventy (Josephus). The Jews say that the flowers were lilies, and that the knobs were in the form of pomegranates. On the extremities of the branches were seven golden lamps, one on each branch. A great number of fanciful representations of this magnificent lamp-stand have been given: that on the Arch of Titus is the best general authority; but the base, as there represented, has figures of birds and marine monsters, which we certainly should not expect to find in an utensil consecrated to the service of Jehovah. This is a confirmation of the statement of Josephus, who, in speaking of the triumph of Vespasian and Titus, and of the sacred utensils which were paraded on that occasion, says that the candlestick was somewhat altered from the form which it had borne in the Temple; and, among other alterations, he expressly says that the shaft was fixed on a new base. After the triumph, the candlestick, together with the table of shew-bread, were lodged in a temple built by Vespasian, and consecrated to Peace. It is to be observed, however, that the candlestick in question was not the same as that made for the tabernacle. This was, with the other sacred utensils, transferred to the Temple built by Solomon, and became the prey of the Chaldæans. It does not appear that it was ever restored, but that a new one was made for the second Temple. It is not certain that this candlestick bore precisely the same form as that made under the direction of Moses; but there was doubtless a general resemblance. The above cut represents the form which our artist, by comparing the description in the text with the figure in the Arch of Titus, considers as a probable approximation to that of the original candlestick.
The light of the lamps was supplied from pure olive-oil. It is disputed whether the lamp was kept burning night
and day, or only at night. In chap. xxx. 7, 8, it is mentioned as the duty of the priest to "dress" the lamps every morning, and to "light" them every evening: but in the parallel text in Levit. xxiv. 2, it is said that the lamps were to burn continually; and the context says nothing about lighting, but only that the priest was to "order" the lamps morning and evening. We are disposed to consider from the two passages, taken together, that the lamps were to be kept "continually" burning at night, being kindled in the evening, and extinguished in the morning. If they were kept burning night and day, the lighting in the evening may mean no more than that the light had been extinguished while the lamp was trimmed, and the oil and wick renewed. It is not in itself improbable that the lamps were kept burning by day, for light could only be admitted into the tabernacle through the curtain at the east or unboarded end; if that curtain were thick, the holy place might have been so dark as to render artificial light not less requisite by day than by night. The most holy place, in which the ark lay, was at all times left in darkness.
1 Heb. the work of a cunning workman, or embroiderer.
coupling of the second; that the loops may take hold one of another.
6 And thou shalt make fifty taches of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle.
7 And thou shalt make curtains of goats' hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make.
8 The length of one curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits and the eleven curtains shall be all of one measure.
9 And thou shalt couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and shalt double the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tabernacle.
10 And thou shalt make fifty loops on the edge of the one curtain that is outermost in the coupling, and fifty loops in the edge of the curtain which coupleth the second.
11 And thou shalt make fifty taches of brass, and put the taches into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be
12 And the remnant that remaineth of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remaineth, shall hang over the backside of the tabernacle.
13 And a cubit on the one side, and cubit on the other side of that which remaineth in the length of the curtains of the tent, it shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle on this side and on that side, to cover it.
14 And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering above of badgers' skins.
15 And thou shalt make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up.
16 Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and a cubit and a half shall be the breadth of one board.
17 Two 'tenons shall there be in one board, set in order one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle.
18 And thou shalt make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards on the south side southward.
naele on the north side there shall be twenty boards:
21 And their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
22 And for the sides of the tabernacle westward thou shalt make six boards.
23 And two boards shalt thou make for the corners of the tabernacle in the two sides.
24 And they shall be 'coupled together beneath, and they shall be coupled together above the head of it unto one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners.
25 And they shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
26 And thou shalt make bars of shittim wood; five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle,
27 And five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the two sides westward.
33 And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.
34 And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.
35 And thou shalt set the table without the vail, and the candlestick over against the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south: and thou shalt put the
19 And thou shalt make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons. 20 And for the second side of the taber- table on the north side.
3 Heb. in the remainder, or surplusage. 4 Heb. hands.
5 Heb. twinned.
Chap. 25. 9. 40. Acts 7. 44. Heb. 8. 5.